EC Revises Stand On Aadhaar, Bats For Compulsory Linking With Voter ID Card

| March 11 , 2018 , 15:30 IST

The Election Commission (EC) has changed its stance on linking Aadhaar ID with voter cards, as it filed a revised application with the Supreme Court seeking mandatory linkage of the Aadhaar card with voter id cards.

Although the EC did encourage the linking of Aadhaar with voter ID cards, its position with reference to the apex court previously was that the linkage was completely voluntary and has only now recommended making the linkage compulsory, reported the Sunday Express.

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The Election Commission has reportedly justified the change in its recommendations on the ground that since the government has passed the Aadhaar Act, the Aadhaar cards can also help insure that each individual has only one vote, thereby preventing voter fraud.

In February 2015, the EC had launched the exercise of linking Aadhaar with the Electors Photo Identity Cards (or EPIC), as part of the National Electoral Roll Purification and Authentication Programme (NERPAP). The exercise was however suspended later that year itself as the Supreme Court restricted the use of Aadhaar to only Public Distribution System (PDS), LPG and kerosene distribution by August.

In July 2017, the EC filed an application with the Supreme Court to resume seeding of the Aadhaar card with EPIC, maintaining that the linkage was optional and not mandatory.

Meanwhile, the Aadhaar cards and their compulsory linkage with various schemes, PAN cards and bank accounts continues to be debated in the Supreme Court as petitioners argue the card to be a violation of their Right To Privacy.